Charles Piutau: Star says 'easy decision' to put family before All Blacks career

Charles Piutau
Charles Piutau was named Pro12 Player of the Year last season

Bristol-bound Ulster player Charles Piutau says it was an "easy decision" to put supporting his family before chasing further All Blacks honours.

Piutau, who will join Pat Lam's Bristol next summer, admits he held talks with the New Zealand Rugby Union before settling on his move to England.

Auckland-born Piutau missed out on the 2015 World Cup after his decision to move to the Northern Hemisphere.

"I'll always choose my family over anything else," said Piutau, 25.

Piutau to link up with brother Siale and Lam

Piutau's move will see him linking up with his older brother Siale, who is already part of Bristol's squad, plus former Auckland Blues coach Lam.

"Maybe there was an option to go back to New Zealand," added Piutau, who has earned 14 New Zealand caps.

"After catching up with people in the union it became clear that I didn't want to go back.

"So after that it was an easy option for me, to stay in the north.

"Then I started talking to a few clubs, and I found Bristol was a perfect fit for me."

Charles Piutau is tackled by South African's Schalk Burger in a Rugby Championship game in July 2015
Charles Piutau has won 14 New Zealand caps

Piutau 'loves' all All Blacks jersey stands for

Piutau insists the he "loves" the All Blacks jersey and all that it stands for but says that his family has to come first.

"When it comes to a place when you can provide for your family and there's a better opportunity, to me it was an easy decision."

Piutau's announcement in August that he had agreed a deal with Bristol was a blow for Ulster as they were unable to compete with Bristol's spending power.

The player says he is determined to make the most of his final Ulster season as the Irish province aim to land a first trophy since 2006.

"Ulster have been amazing with me and I've really enjoyed my time here playing for the club and in the city of Belfast."

After starting in Ulster's opening Pro14 win over the Cheetahs, a hamstring injury ruled Piutau out of last weekend's win over Benetton and he will also miss Friday's home contest against champions Scarlets.

However, the 25-year-old is expected to return to playing duty in next week's home game against the Dragons.